We get to meet Jeremiah today. He was the prophet who was ministering to the land of Judah from the time of Josiah until it finally fell to Nebuchadnezzar.
We only get to see Jeremiah’s ancestral background and his place in the history of Judah. While reading Isaiah, I thought that Jeremiah was a prophet to Israel and had been carried away when they fell to Assyria. I was wrong. Jeremiah actually follows Isaiah in history. Isaiah died during the rule of King Manasseh. Jeremiah rises up after Manasseh’s death and King Josiah’s reign. There was a little gap between them for Jeremiah wasn’t called until Josiah had already been on the throne for 13 years.
King Josiah was the LAST godly king in Judah. He was an extremely godly king and walked in ALL the ways of David, including tearing down the high places. Josiah was 8 years old when he became king. This makes him 21 when Jeremiah began his ministry in Judah. And 5 years after that, Josiah found the Book of the Law and began repairing the Temple of God. Josiah and Jeremaih would have another 5 years together before Josiah’s death.
Josiah’s fourth son, Jehoahaz, would take the throne next and only remain there for three months. He was taken by Pharoah in chains to Egypt and Jehoahaz’s brother was placed on the throne instead. Two more of Josiah’s sons would also sit on the throne but not in succession. One grandson occupied the throne for three months. Jeremiah was there for all of their reigns and NONE of them followed in the ways of the Lord or of Josiah.
Jeremiah was from the tribe of Levi and lived a little way away from Jerusalem in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. The tribe of Benjamin was the only other tribe to remain with Judah when the kingdom of Israel split. Neither of these tribes were the priestly tribe but God made sure there were priests still living in Judah as the tribe of Levi had been scattered about in the region so they could minister to ALL of the Promised Land. Jeremiah was a descendant of one of these priestly posts.
I just noticed something interesting. Verse two tells us that the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in the days of Josiah but ALSO in the days of Jehoiakim. It looks like God did not send Jeremiah to Josiah’s son, Jehoahaz. I wonder why that is so.
Jeremiah continued to speak for the Lord from Jehoiakim until the end of the kingdom of Judah and the carrying off of the exiles into captivity. Jeremiah would continue to speak for the Lord in captivity for another 8 years.
Spoiler alert: the kings after Josiah DID NOT receive Jeremiah’s words with gladness. He went through a LOT of suffering because he refused to be silent. And in the end of his time, he was taken by force to places he DID NOT consent to go.
Father God, thank You for providing me with the ability to dig into Your word. For bringing me into a time in which I can easily look up information to expound on Your word. Thank You for letting me stumble across the website Godquestions.org. They have helped me keep the kings straight. I’m looking forward to hearing about Jeremiah’s time as Your messenger. I remember some of the stories but I’m SURE there are MANY I have forgotten.